RETRO hairstyles, polka dot dresses and the sound of swing signalled the start of Southbourne's Shake and Stir Festival. Now in its sixth year, the popular free event attracts huge crowds.

Launching on Friday with a party at Ludo Lounge, the festival got fully under way on Saturday with live music across three stages at Fisherman's Walk and Southbourne Grove.

The line-up featured a variety of vintage acts throughout the morning and afternoon, including Miss Annie and Jitterbug Jive. Also taking to the main stage were Mungo Jerry and Jesse Ray. And up-and-coming local bands got the chance to perform at the festival for the first time on the new 'introducing' stage.

Meanwhile, visitors enjoyed over 100 stalls selling a variety of food and drink, as well as gifts and vintage wares.

The festival's main sponsors Brewhouse and Kitchen were selling their range of craft ales, and fellow sponsors Conker Spirit provided gin and tonics.

Co-director of the festival, Fiona McArthur, said the footfall at this year's event was "enormous", and she expected the number of visitors to top the 27,000 last year.

"We’ve had to try and spread out the event as it's so popular. We’ve been turning traders away, which is really hard.

"This year we’ve introduced lots of different elements – there’s the introducing stage on Fisherman’s Walk for local bands who want some exposure.

"And there's also the Northern Soul caravan on the Grove. We're stretching the event down the high street as far as we can."

She said it was "really good" to see local shops participating in the event, and even big retailers like Boots.

"One of the most impressive things is Boots has a table outside with community suntan lotion, free for people to use. It's good to see huge chains like that being involved in community events.

"The ethos of the festival is to make Southbourne interesting and make it a destination. Southbourne’s enjoying a bit of a resurgence at the moment. We’re trying to make that continue."

Commenting on the line-up of musicians this year, she said: "We’ve still got Mungo Jerry as he was so popular last year. We try and mix it up and have different bands each year."

As well as enjoying live entertainment, visitors to the festival have been admiring a display of vintage and classic cars and bikes. Fiona added: "We’ve been surprised by how much the festival has grown and how popular it is. It's organised by a committee of 10 people.

It's nice to see everybody here enjoying what Southbourne has to offer."

The event, supported by the Coastal BID and Southbourne on Sea Business Association, continues on Sunday with a line-up of live music on the bandstand at Fisherman's Walk from 11am-4pm. The Bournemouth and Boscombe Light Opera Theatre Company will also be showing off the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to promote their upcoming show at the Pavilion.